Rural Michigan

Articles

Along Michigan-Ohio border, small-town Morenci is transformed by marijuana

Along Michigan-Ohio border, small-town Morenci is transformed by marijuana

January 20, 2020 | Riley Beggin

Once a frontier town dominated by agriculture, Morenci now finds itself on a new frontier, with the scent of pot wafting through its streets. Despite reluctance from “conservative farm folks,” most support the financial boost the industry has brought. 

Michigan county threatens to bulldoze Amish homes in poop dispute

Michigan county threatens to bulldoze Amish homes in poop dispute

January 15, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

An Amish community, with help from the ACLU, argues that Lenawee County is violating its religious freedom by demanding it stop using outhouses and spreading human waste in fields. Local residents are backing the Amish. 

Michigan Republican pushes to deregulate health care. Some hospitals call foul.

Michigan Republican pushes to deregulate health care. Some hospitals call foul.

January 8, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

A GOP legislative package would remove barriers to small rural hospitals expanding or offering some of the same services as larger hospitals in the region. Both sides say their vision would lower costs. 

Old motels, campsites and shelters fill housing void in northwest Michigan

Old motels, campsites and shelters fill housing void in northwest Michigan

December 16, 2019 | Anna Clark

Even middle-income workers are now priced out of safe, affordable homes in Michigan’s resort region. Housing stock has declined for all but the affluent, leaving high school students to fill the construction breach.

This flu season looks deadly. Yet much of Michigan won’t get its shot.

This flu season looks deadly. Yet much of Michigan won’t get its shot.

October 18, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

In much of rural Michigan, and in Detroit, fewer than 20 percent of residents get flu shots, even though the vaccine makes it far less likely that people will die or get seriously ill from the virus.

Caro’s psychiatric hospital is saved. Michigan’s mental health crisis persists.

Caro’s psychiatric hospital is saved. Michigan’s mental health crisis persists.

October 9, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spared a psychiatric hospital whose closure would have devastated the Thumb. But long waiting lists persist statewide, and the hospital’s problems remain.

Tiny school districts to Lansing: Stop acting like ‘middle-schoolers’

Tiny school districts to Lansing: Stop acting like ‘middle-schoolers’

October 7, 2019 | Ron French

Superintendents in some of Michigan’s most isolated districts blame Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Repubican leaders for a budget fight that they say threatens their future and treats students like political pawns.

Rural Michigan sheriffs fear layoffs after Whitmer vetoes road patrol

Rural Michigan sheriffs fear layoffs after Whitmer vetoes road patrol

October 3, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Law enforcement raises alarms after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer axed $13 million for a state grant program that has helped county sheriffs hire road patrol deputies since 1978.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer targets rural Michigan in bid to sway GOP on budgets

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer targets rural Michigan in bid to sway GOP on budgets

October 1, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used her line-item veto power to cut several GOP budget priorities in hopes of restarting negotiations. Rural Michigan is among the hardest hit.

Seeking a cure: The quest to save the Midwest’s rural hospitals

Seeking a cure: The quest to save the Midwest’s rural hospitals

September 30, 2019 | Jennifer Hemmingsen

Small rural hospitals are getting squeezed by competition and market forces, forcing painful consolidations, sales and closures.  Nationwide, 113 rural hospitals have closed in less than a decade.

Rural hospitals in Michigan face a dilemma: Merge or not?

Rural hospitals in Michigan face a dilemma: Merge or not?

September 29, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Rising fiscal challenges force independent Michigan hospitals to seek alliances. They can save the hospitals, but some critics ask at what cost.

In Ironwood, a tiny hospital merged to save itself. Despite fears, it thrived.

In Ironwood, a tiny hospital merged to save itself. Despite fears, it thrived.

September 29, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

For Aspirus Ironwood Hospital, in a sparsely populated former mining region in remote Michigan, merger points to a brighter future.

Good news for Michigan cherry industry. Bad news for Turkey.

Good news for Michigan cherry industry. Bad news for Turkey.

September 23, 2019 | Bob Campbell

A U.S. Commerce Department ruling is likely to result in large duties imposed on Turkish dried cherries, which Michigan growers accuse of being illegally dumped on the U.S. market. 

What’s behind the population boom in rural Michigan jails?

What’s behind the population boom in rural Michigan jails?

August 23, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A state task force could convene on why rural jails hold a greater share of inmates, with more awaiting trial.

A summer of despair for Michigan’s cherry growers

A summer of despair for Michigan’s cherry growers

August 21, 2019 | Bob Campbell

For decades, the peninsulas of Old Mission and Leelanau have produced ideal conditions for tart cherries. But harsh weather, pesky bugs and Turkish imports are prompting farmers to reconsider their futures.

An Up North charter is 44 percent subs. You can’t tell difference, supt. says

An Up North charter is 44 percent subs. You can’t tell difference, supt. says

August 7, 2019 | Ron French

At the fast-growing Charlton Heston Academy in St. Helen, nearly half of classrooms were staffed by uncertified, long-term substitutes last year. Superintendent says it’s not ideal, but charter can’t attract certified teachers.

New plans for Michigan psychiatric facility raise more concerns about care

New plans for Michigan psychiatric facility raise more concerns about care

August 5, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Mental health advocates say a decision to keep a Caro psychiatric hospital open doesn't improve Michigan's mental health system.

Rural children more than twice as likely to be homeless in Michigan

Rural children more than twice as likely to be homeless in Michigan

July 25, 2019 | Magdalena Mihaylova

There aren’t enough early childhood education programs in the state to deal with the troubling rate of childhood homelessness, according to a new study. That could have lifelong ramifications.

Rural Michigan needs doctors. Paying their debts may be an answer

Rural Michigan needs doctors. Paying their debts may be an answer

July 22, 2019 | Robin Erb

Lawmakers eye expansion of program that pays student debt of medical professionals who practice in underserved areas, as the Michigan doctor shortage intensifies.

Payday blues: Rural Michigan and the quick-cash debt hole

Payday blues: Rural Michigan and the quick-cash debt hole

June 26, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

With interest rates that can top 400 percent a year, payday lenders sprout in small-town Michigan. Bipartisan legislation in Lansing would rein in lending practices, but there’s no guarantee it will get a hearing.

Pages